How To Keep Content Available During COVID-19

It’s 2020 and the rules have changed. Due to the global pandemic, content that may have worked for businesses last year may no longer work this year. Events are now highly restricted or banned, business travel is curtailed, and face-to-face meetings are discouraged, pushing many businesses into unusual circumstances. 

The economic disruption may also tempt some companies to suspend all marketing activities and “go dark” but this would be is a mistake. According to a survey of 25,000 consumers globally by Kantar, only around 1 in 10 consumers think brands should “go dark” during this time. And brands that do disappear from view saw a decline in awareness, posing an additional challenge of regaining lost ground.

With that in mind, here are a few ways your business can keep a stable content pipeline as we grapple with the new normal. 

Prioritise health and safety

People who engage your brand want to know what’s being done to keep them safe and healthy. 

Prepare a list of concerns people are likely to raise and address them right away. For example, you can share about additional steps your employees are taking to ensure customers’ safety, changes to your operating hours or processes, or actions you will take in case of an outbreak linked to your business. 

Include this in your social media posts. Place it on your website’s landing page as an FAQ section. Mention these health and safety guidelines in your brochures, videos, and other marketing and communications collateral. Assure people they have nothing to worry about. 

Update stakeholders on how you’re helping and adapting

Inform people how your business is making a meaningful difference in the community during this difficult time. It can be about how you’re sharing company resources for free, discounts and concessions offered to customers, or how you’re providing support to your own employees. 

Alternatively, you may also have products and services that can help make people’s lives easier during the new normal. If so, share how your products and services are making a meaningful difference and being a solution. 

Regardless of the format it takes, remember to show empathy and compassion. It’s a sensitive time for many people, so avoid any action or content that can be seen as trying to take advantage of a difficult situation.

Share insights about the new normal

Amid all the changes this year, you or your business may have gained new insights. Why not share it with your stakeholders? Businesses and consumers constantly want to know how the landscape has changed from last year. You might have discovered a radical approach to a unique challenge, statistics about new customer behaviour, or an observation about a specific industry. 

Raise awareness about your business by collecting and analysing these insights and sharing them with your stakeholders. Use what you’ve learnt to tell a story, be it through case studies, narratives, or facts and figures. 

Realise that 2020 is not just about COVID

While the pandemic has been a constant background presence this year, an overemphasis on this issue may result in COVID fatigue. Help people take their mind off the pandemic by focusing on non-COVID current issues or life after recovery. 

For example, as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, many companies have begun to lead conversations about promoting workplace diversity and inclusion. You can also inspire your stakeholders to think about and start preparing for life after the recovery phase. 

Collaborate with others

Consider finding a trusted partner to help extend your reach, complement your weaknesses, or develop synergies. For example, you can partner with firms that can help you establish an online presence and build up your digital capabilities. It doesn’t have to be limited to just companies: Partnerships can happen with known personalities, non-profits, and government agencies.

Want to build a steady content pipeline of content and do not know how to go about it? We can help — write to us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

What’s in a Name? How to Differentiate Between Types of Content

It happens all too often – a client says they want a blog, but when a blog is delivered, they ask why it’s so short, or why the tone is so casual. Or, they say they want an op-ed that can be pitched to a top-tier industry publication, and then don’t understand why their company’s newest product isn’t specifically mentioned or detailed in the piece.

While it’s wonderful that this client knows content will help them boost their brand and generate leads, if they don’t understand the difference between types of content, things will be frustrating for both the content team and the client. Because, unlike a rose, an op-ed by any other name is an entirely different piece of content.

When communicating with the content team you’re working with, it’s vital that you are on the same page when it comes to the types of content they are producing for you – otherwise lots of time, energy and effort will be wasted. This is because different types of content are geared for different audiences and are meant to reach different goals.

For example, if you’re hoping to increase your CEO’s profile, a social media campaign is likely not the answer – thought leadership articles are. Likewise, if you’re launching a new report and want to extend the coverage of all that data you analysed, you’ll need more than press releases – you’ll want op-eds, blog posts and maybe an infographic or two.

If all of this has your head spinning, don’t worry – we’re here to help dispel the confusion surrounding different types of content. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Social Media Copy, Explained


Oh look, a Facebook post.

Pithy, punchy and to-the-point, social media calls for short-form copy (Sometimes, extremely short-form. A tweet, for example, is a maximum of 280 characters that is attention-grabbing, informative and creative (yes, emoji are completely acceptable and hashtags are a must – they help with discovery). It should be written in your brand’s voice and have a personality that resonates with your audience. 

Though there are several different types of social media platforms today, the platforms most often used for business are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. While similar messaging can be pushed out via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, LinkedIn is a professional network that is better suited. for business goals such as brand or product awareness and communicating employer brand messaging,

Getting the tone right for each platform is an important part of crafting social media copy, so understanding how different platforms operate and which platforms your audience prefers or frequents is crucial. After all, if your target demographic spends most of their time scrolling Instagram and you’re only on Facebook, you’re missing a huge opportunity to speak directly to and engage directly with them.

Thought Leadership Posts and Articles, Explained

When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn is the platform you want. Your company’s executives likely all already have LinkedIn profiles in order to network and keep up with industry news. And since the platform caters to professionals, it’s the perfect place to share thoughts on the state of the industry, general business news and the thought process behind your company’s latest developments.

There are a couple different ways to publish thought leadership on LinkedIn: the first is through a post. This is short-form content – anywhere from a line or two to a paragraph – where a professional shares a quick thought about a relevant business topic or a news article they link. Though quick and efficient, these posts do provide insider insights and help to build a personal brand.

The second option is to write and share an original article on LinkedIn. This option allows more freedom and space for an executive to really delve into a topic through a longer-form piece – usually around 400–700 words – providing followers, connections and other professionals a look into their thoughts about a particular event, industry trend or piece of global news. 

In addition to positioning executives as experienced, authoritative, thoughtful leaders with a unique perspective, these pieces could also lead to greater networking opportunities, speaking engagements or even business partnerships.

Blogs, Explained

Behold, a blog post.

The goal of blogs is to communicate your company’s messaging, be it reiterating your vision, launching a new product or report, providing updates to your customers, or releasing a statement in times of crisis. These pieces are where you can not just promote your company and your products, but explain them in-depth and provide behind-the-scenes information or looks at innovation.

Often, blogs and social media work hand-in-hand: you can use your social media pages to promote new blog posts by giving readers a quick taste of what’s to come in the blog and enticing them to click the link and go to your website. 

Op-Eds, Explained

When it comes to pitching articles to the media, it’s generally an op-ed – short for ”opposite the editorial page” (if you want to invite us to be on your pub quiz team, we understand) – that you want to pitch. These should be thought of as thought leadership pieces because an op-ed will include a company spokesperson or executive’s name as the author and will be written in their voice, from their perspective.

But unlike writing for a company blog or for LinkedIn, an op-ed that is pitched to a publication should be long-form – usually 600–1,000 words, depending on their guidelines – and should communicate your company’s vision or leader’s thoughts without specifically selling the company or its products/services. 

This is an important distinction to make, and one that is easy to misunderstand. The reason why the company’s vision or product cannot be specifically detailed or mentioned is that if it is, the publication will consider the piece as an advertorial,  which is, at the end of the day, an ad. And you have to pay for ads.

Op-eds, however, do not cost your company anything if they are accepted to publication and they can not only boost brand reputation and brand awareness, but will establish your business and leaders as a trusted voice in your sector.

Infographics, Explained

A combination of copy and design, infographics help to tell a story or explain events or systems visually. These can be very effective when communicating complicated ideas that are often difficult or confusing to explain with only copy, and are great to share online on any platform.

If you’re unsure about what type of designed content it is that you want, that is completely fine – feel free to provide examples of designed content you like and the content team can help you figure out what will work best for you.

Hopefully this content primer helped shed some light on how different pieces of content operate. However, if the event you head into your next meeting with your content team and you can’t remember the difference between a blog and an op-ed, don’t tell your agency you want five blogs and five articles, hoping they’ll figure out exactly what articles mean to you. Instead, explain your business goals – your content team should be able to help you narrow down what will work best for you. 

Unsure what type of content works best for your brand? The Mutant content team is here for you. Send us an email to hello@mutant.com.sg

Content yoga: How to stretch your content into multiple posts

You have heard it over and over again. Content marketing is the next big thing in marketing communications. You have bought the Kool Aid, you have started drinking it.

You have established a content development process that is both consistent and committed. Various internal stakeholders are coming with you with ideas, or even better, written pieces of content that are exactly to your requirements. The website blog is being updated once a week. Now what?

It’s time to get the most out of the content that you have painstakingly developed. Here are some tips on how can you make your content go further so that it reaches your intended target audience.

  • Check with your PR agency if the content is pitchable

With shrinking newsrooms, publications are more open to taking in op-eds or contributions these days. Having your original content published in a business or industry news portal definitely gives your brand a boost in credibility. Publications usually have some strict requirements though – the brand cannot be mentioned in the piece other than the byline, the content usually has to be on a wider industry trend rather than a specific product and usually the piece has to be published first only on their site. You can of course, then use the content on your own website after a specific period of time. Take note of the advice your agency gives you and make a call on whether you would like to go down this route.

  • Get the content linked

Content on LinkedIn is getting a lot of traction these days. If you need to raise the profile of a certain executive (e.g. the new Asia MD), you may want to consider posting the content on a regular basis using LinkedIn Pulse, with their approval of course.

A repurposed article on LinkedIn pulse could help to build your executive’s credibility as an industry thought leader and also steer people to becoming more aware of your brand. As a bonus, LinkedIn Pulse enjoys a high search quality rating on Google which means the content will be included in search results.

Updating a senior executive’s page on their behalf also encourages them to be more hands-on in the content – it’s their reputation after all. This means you will also get more ideas on content topics and they are also more likely to share their personal industry observations. This is a win-win for both, your content is more authentic and they boost their own profile.

  • Make it shareable

Summarise each section of your blog post or break it down into tips. You can then use these bite-sized pieces to post on Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis as part of a multi-part series. Remember that you have to keep the post to 140 characters for Twitter – which probably will come up to no more than 1 sentence. For Facebook you have more flexibility on the word count but try not to go over 250 characters (Posts with less than 250 characters receive 60% more engagement). Also, don’t forget to add an image and link the content back to your website to drive traffic.

On that note, while having Twitter and Facebook is great – it may not be necessary to have both. Check our post on choosing the right social media channel to see which is right for you. https://www.mutant.com.sg/less-is-more-4-tips-to-choosing-the-right-social-media-channel/

  • Reach out to new people

Since you are posting on social media already, why not promote selected posts on Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook? Promoting a post is a good way for more people to see your content and reach out to new audiences through targeting.

Promoted posts can boost traffic to your web page and also gives you some rich data analytics so that you can figure out which channels are most effective for your brand. The best thing about promoted posts these days, is that it is fairly affordable – you can promote a post for as much or as little budget as you want.

  • Communicate to employees

Your employees are your most important assets. They are the face of the company and they are the ones that deal with your customers. A great piece of content can inspire employees and align ideas. Summarise your article into a teaser and use it in your latest newsletter. Encourage engagement, ask them their point of view on the topic and as always, link the article back to the website to boost traffic.

  • Play around with formats

While a blog post is the most immediate way to get content out, do explore other formats that may work better with your target audience. Be it an infographic, video, slideshare or audio file – explore the various formats from time to time and use your website analytics to check on how much traction you are getting.

If you need help maximising your existing content or need help setting up a winning content development marketing strategy, please get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

5 signs your business should invest in a content marketing agency

There are a multitude of large and small businesses that think they know best when it comes to content marketing. How hard can it be? A blog here, a social media post there and you’re done! Right?

I hate to break it to you, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Put simply, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that relies on the regular creation and distribution of quality content to a specific audience. The aim is to ultimately turn prospects into customers. Read more about what content marketing means here.

An effective content marketing strategy takes time and commitment and everything needs to be written with purpose. It not only yields powerful results, but also becomes extremely cost effective.

There is no point in writing one blog, adding it to your website and then hoping it will automatically translate into sales. It sadly doesn’t work that way. How will people see your content?

With that being said, here are some early signs that should prompt you to consider using a content marketing agency to help you get organised and on track:

  • Lack of regular, quality content

Think about how often you produce content.
Is it once a month? Once a quarter? Or whenever you have a chance to?

Whilst it’s not necessary to create content every single day, a solid content strategy requires consistency and commitment. Creating regular content allows brands to build thought leadership in their area of expertise, create trust and promote engagement with their target audiences – which is more likely to lead to a sale.

  • No visible SEO results

Without relevant and regular content, your SEO efforts may be wasted. Google evaluates how often you update your website with fresh content. It also ranks the quality of the content as well as the length. You can read more about this here.

Another thing to consider is how well the content is tailored to your chosen keywords. Content creation isn’t just about putting some words on a page about a certain topic. You do need to write for your target audience but also for SEO. Fall too deep to one side and you will be penalised on the other, so it’s essential to strike a healthy balance between crafty and engaging content and writing for SEO.

  • Your conversions are suffering

 Writing relevant content that addresses your target audience and their needs is so important. Identify and create a buyer persona that would need your product or service. Who is this person? (i.e Marketing Mary, 35 years old) What is their role? (ie Marketing Manager for an SME) What do they wish to achieve? (Brand awareness, sales etc.) Then look at identifying their pain points and how you can help solve them.

A content marketing agency can be useful to help structure your strategy and make suggestions about why your efforts have not been successful. They will create new ideas and avenues for you to explore.

  • Little to no engagement across your social media

Social media can be an amazing avenue to promote your content and directly engage with your target audience. Using social media helps drive traffic to your website as you are providing your followers with a preview of what they can expect to see if they click a specific link.

If you are doing this already and it’s not working, think about the quality and relevance of the content that you are producing and posting. Always remember that one size doesn’t fit all on social media. Each platform has a different audience, and therefore the language, tone and delivery needs to be tailored every time.

A content marketing agency will pull together a strategic content and social media strategy and create relevant and engaging content that can be used across multiple platforms.

  • Your brand lacks credibility

If you are a new business, it’s so critical early on to establish credibility in the market. A solid content marketing strategy enables your brand to educate prospects and instill their trust in your brand.

According to Hubspot’s 2015 State of Inbound Marketing report, the top two priorities for companies, regardless of size, are to a) increase the number of contacts/leads, and b) to convert contacts/leads to customers.

A successful content marketing strategy can help you achieve this.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to hello@mutant.com.sg 

CTA desingns

 

If you’d like to speak to us about effective content marketing for your business, feel free to get in touch at ola@mutant.com.sg.